Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘sleep


Posted on: January 31, 2014

Sorry I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been…coping. Just about, by the skin of my teeth, getting from one day to the next.

These past few days I’ve been feeling ill. Nothing serious, just a bug, but I feel all stuffed up and it’s stopping me from sleeping because every time I lie down I cough up a lung, so I know I’m being ratty and over-emotional.

I’m struggling at work. My performance has dipped. I’m alright at the simple, invisible, day-to-day things, but when it comes to anything involving confidence or chutzpah I just can’t do it any more. My boss keeps looking at me with his serious face and I feel like he’s gearing up to have a serious conversation with me and I am completely not in the right frame of mind for that. I can’t talk about myself at the best of times but lately I can hardly look myself in the face in the mirror without wanting to run away.

Today I came home from a busy, stressful, unproductive day at work. Feeling exhausted and vulnerable, wearing the dead-eyed, open-mouthed, nose-dripping stare of the cold-inflicted. Feeling sick. Feeling sorry for myself. Wanting to hide away. Told my parents I didn’t feel up to eating anything and was just going to bed.

Everything kicked off. I mean, World War 3 (only in my house alone we’re probably on World War 3 Million). My mum calling me an ungrateful bitch and threatening to force feed me. Calling me evil for upsetting her (is this what mothers do? I thought if your child was ill you would at least enquire what was wrong before making it all about you).

I really couldn’t cope. Couldn’t make my brain work properly. Couldn’t stop the horrible snivelling crying. Cut my arm with scissors for the first time in years. Hit myself on the head with my phone, which was probably a really bad idea as I now have a huge lump in the middle of my forehead and I don’t know how I’ll explain it (my phone still works though, it’s indestructible, although I’m not sure how that will help as I have no-one to contact).

All I can think about is running away. Got to leave, got to get away somehow, got to stop everything. I don’t know what to do.

Everything is dull and grey and out-of-focus, the horrible light of the early hours, when everything seems realer and duller and more miserable than at any other time of the day.

I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what I’m doing.

At work, I’ve been reacquainted with a previous boss, and he’s so fucking good at his job. He’s trying to help me. Gently pushing, encouraging, praising. Making me feel like my contribution is worthwhile. Setting me special tasks – complex, challenging, new – because he knows I’d get bored otherwise, and if I get bored then I just give up. He wants me to have an aim, and he wants to help me move towards it. I don’t know how to tell him what I want. Sometimes I want to yell at everyone to stop movement, stop progress, just wait, stay still for a moment so I can gather my thoughts, this perpetual lurching forward makes me feel sick. Sometimes I want to collapse in a heap and finally admit out loud: I lack drive because I lack confidence. I lack direction because I have yet to convince myself that my future exists. I only survive by living completely in the present.

At home, everything is the same. I don’t have the energy to give details. It’s all just the same. Exhausting just to think about.

I feel…separate. Can’t connect with anyone. I can chat but not talk. I can make people laugh and listen to their problems and give them advice, but if they want to hang out with someone, it won’t be me they choose. I don’t know how to make a meaningful connection with anyone, and I don’t even know if I want to. I’ve spent my whole life struggling with that one: do I notice the lack of closeness because I want it, or because everyone else expects me to have it? I think I could probably live quite happily alone, never connecting with anyone, if only people didn’t insist on reminding me as regularly possible how weird that is.

I can’t sleep. I can’t think. Everything is a dream. A dull, pointless dream.

I’m too afraid to move.

Here it goes, I lose control.

I felt pretty good for a couple of days, and I didn’t question it, didn’t worry, couldn’t see anything unusual in it. Didn’t even think about it, really. Just enjoyed the breath of fresh air, the lifting of a weight.

Then all of a sudden things are too bright and loud and upbeat. I say stuff I wouldn’t normally, see eyebrows raising as I seem arrogant and presumptuous and overly-friendly and just generally weird. I go to work and try harder than everyone, get everything just so, becoming obsessive about it, never stopping.

Then I come home and talk, talk, talk and laugh until my throat hurts. Then my thoughts are racing, really racing, to the point where they get so fast they just become white noise, I can’t make anything out, like when things travel quickly in cartoons and all you see is a blur. Sweeping lines of motion but no discernible outline.

I can’t think anymore, my mind moving so fast that I can’t get purchase on any particular thought, they’re all whizzing past just beyond my reach, and there is simultaneously so much and nothing at all going on in my mind and I start to get afraid.

It’s 2am. I can’t sleep. I’m actually seriously considering hurting myself, just to shut my brain up. I know it’s stupid and self-destructive but it’s fucking tempting, the idea of harming myself just enough to induce that blank state in which I can collapse in to bed, mind silent, actually no thoughts at all, and sleep until morning.

What am I supposed to do? I can’t stop moving or thinking, everything going round in circles. Earlier at work my friends and I were looking at a puzzle and I couldn’t see the answer but now it’s come to me and it’s yelling in my ear, I’m fidgety and I’m mouthing it to myself and it won’t get out of my head, just a stupid meaningless phrase that repeats over and over again and keeps me awake.

Ah, that old chestnut.

My parents are on holiday.

Over the past few days, there’s been a noticeable change in me. I’m not sleeping (hence why this is being written at 6am. I turned the light off, I went to bed, I couldn’t stop thinking or moving or distracting myself, so I thought fuck it, I’ll come here and write about it and maybe that will wear me out). I’m eating less, too. I feel tingly and jittery and slightly irritable. I’ve been writing stories (1000 words is the magic number. After that – and often before – , I get bored or distracted or decide it’s rubbish or it just stops), and over the weekend I went shopping, and spent hundreds of pounds on clothes (and this is me. I live in natty old jeans).

So which is it? Coincidence or causation? Am I ridiculously hyperactive etc. because my parents are away – no enforced routine (might as well eat when they cook, might as well go to bed before they get suspicious), no fear of being shouted at, just a general lack of arsiness – or is it all just a coincidence?

I don’t know.

I’m not sure what it means, if it’s causation. Probably that I’ll never be able to leave. If a few days away from them sends me into overdrive, then I doubt I can be trusted away from them permanently. But if it’s coincidence, then it’s just one more things that I can’t explain, can’t stick a label on and tidy it away into a box. And it means it might happen again when my parents are here, and that scares me, because I know they would be angry with me if they saw me like this – my mother, especially, isn’t fond of me showing any more animation than is absolutely necessary.

Mostly, at the moment, I am okay.

It’s difficult to know how long I mean when I talk about “at the moment”. Everything feels like forever. If I’m okay now then I feel like I’ve always been okay, and any memories of things being bad are vague and hazy and obviously a case of me exaggerating at the time.

But lately, however long that is, most of the time things aren’t too bad. I’m finding it hard to get to sleep, and then I’m finding it hard to wake up (I think perhaps I’m just resistant to change) but for a good deal of the time I am – if not particularly happy – fine. Bored. Tired. But laughing at things that are funny and feeling reasonably clear-headed.

And then, sometimes – every couple of days, maybe – for an hour, or a few hours, or a day, I just…fall apart. Uncontrollable weeping. Curling up in the dark. Scraping at my arms with fingernails, trying to stave off the mounting urge to do serious damage to myself. Fantasising, all the time, about death, death, dying. Just drowning in fear and shame and guilt and regret. Seeing my death, in horrific detail, every time I close my eyes or let my mind wonder. Crying because, live or die, I’m a disappointment, I’m letting people down. Wording suicide notes and letters of apology in my head. Looking on the websites of airlines and thinking where could I fly to? How much would it cost to go somewhere where everything would be okay, and I wouldn’t have to be me? Somewhere where I could lose myself. There’s no such place, of course, and that’s upsetting in itself.

And then after a while everything’s back to sort-of-okay again, and I’ve wasted all that time being ridiculous and frightened and an absolute wreck, and I’m okay again for hours or days and then bang, I’m right back in that horrible place again, and I can’t stop returning to it.

I’m so tired.

I don’t think I can face the inevitable embarrassment of the rest of my life. I’ve fucked it up and I can’t face anyone, can’t face their judgement and disappointment.

And I know it’s completely irrational, but I just keep thinking, what have I done to deserve this? Am I really such a bad person that this is no coincidence but a direct result of me and my actions? And I’m scared of yes, and scared of no – because at least if this is some sort of punishment or whatever then at least I know I could have done something differently. At least then I have some sort of power over it, even if it’s only retrospective and no use to me now.

Over the past 17 hours, I have:

  • had three hours of sleep/sort of sleep/trying to sleep
  • been keeping up to day with the election coverage
  • watched ‘Outnumbered’
  • had a bit of a rest
  • written over 4000 words

Now, I’m not sure if those words are any good. In fact, I suspect they’re a bit crap. BUT that’s two pieces of coursework done!

And I feel energised, and vaguely hopeful, and wide awake which is good because that means I can stay up for the rest of the day and maybe possibly SLEEP AT NIGHT which would be strange and wonderful but probably unlikely.

I’m not entirely sure if this is a case of Laura Finally Gets Her Act Together, or just one more episode in the endless saga of Laura Does Strange Things Sometimes.

But I’m not going to question it, because chances are high that I’m going to get more than 0%, which means I’m benefiting from doing it. 🙂

It’s just gone half past five in the morning, it’s already not properly dark, and I haven’t been to sleep.

I don’t know what to do. I just keep crying. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted on: February 2, 2010

Gaah. That’s what I have to say.

I’m irritable. I’m pissed off. I’m speaking and acting without thinking.

I’m too twitchily awake to actually do anything, but I still thought it was a perfectly good idea to volunteer to (idea, volunteer: rhyme…)

Right. I volunteered to format my group’s presentation for our seminar on Friday. I reckon it’s the least I could do considering what a bad group member I am, always missing stuff etc. and talking too loud (I could see them looking at me strangely, but I can’t make my voice behave).

Last night, I eventually passed out, only to wake up three hours or so later.

I’m very tempted to go to the doctor and say “PLEASE MAKE ME SLEEP”. But then they’d start asking pesky questions about how my mood is, and I’d probably just scream, “IT’S FUCKING FINE. JUST KNOCK ME OUT BEFORE MY HEAD EXPLODES”. At which point they’d probably call the police. And then my head would explode, which would at least prove me right.

I’m aware that I’m kind of all over the place at the minute. I’m trying to calm myself down. Trying to be still and calm, trying to think things through, trying to just laugh at myself when I’m so startled by little noises that I drop things.

It’s just…sleep. I need some sleep.

Edit: I got an email from the mental health advisor, offering an appointment. I burst into tears. I don’t fucking know why. I suppose that means I’m going to have to actually speak about this out loud. Admittedly, probably in the vaguest way possible.

I don’t know how to feel. Part of me is panicking – I don’t want to speak, I don’t want to ask for help, I don’t want anybody to know, I should never have contacted her. Part of me is upset – I feel guilty, I feel like a disappointment, I feel like I’m giving in. And a small part of me is relieved. Just that small, ridiculous, naive part of my mind that is thinking maybe something will change. And of course, that just makes the part of me that’s sad even sadder, and adds a bit of self-hating anger in there, too – I hate my hope, I hate that I can’t cope and am desperate for something else.

It is now just gone 4pm on Monday.

The last time I remember getting any sleep was the early hours of Saturday morning.

This is…odd.

I’m seeing everything through a vague kind of haze.

I have a distant feeling that I’m supposed to be sorting my life out, but I can’t quite grasp what I have to do.

I went to volunteering today, though. That’s a start. I enjoyed it. It’s one of the few things that seems to make sense, although I feel like a fraud, using depression as an excuse for things when for the past few days I haven’t been depressed, and today I spent a lot of time being loud and happy and funny and making people listen to me. I feel a bit like these times invalidate the others.

I got an email from my course co-ordinator, saying that as long as the essay I missed last term is submitteed by the end of this term then I’ll be okay.

I was so ridiculously grateful. And I don’t know why, but losing the pressure made me want to start doing it straight away. I wanted to reply to her and say don’t worry, I’ll get it done in the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll get it done today.

But I calmed down.

First things first. Tidy my room. Start going to lectures again. Work out how to restart my life.

Get some fucking sleep.

I couldn’t get to sleep until 2am. I know, I should be thankful. That’s an early night for me.

Then I woke up at 3:30am. I couldn’t get back to sleep.

So I stayed up. Not really doing anything. Listening to music. Reading, a bit. Watching stuff on youtube.

Then I got out of bed. I showered. I had breakfast. And I went to volunteering.

And I felt…alive. I felt like everything made sense. It sounds stupid, doesn’t it? It’s not really cool to have rewarding experiences. It was challenging and frustrating and exhausting, but ultimately, I spent every minute of it feeling like I was in my element. I worked my socks off all day, and when, at the end of it all, the person running the scheme turned to me and said, “thank you”, it felt like an extra. Like the day itself was reward enough. I must be getting soft in my old age.

Of course, with every positive comes a negative. Lately I’ve been scared of checking my email. That’s a really stupid fear, I know. But I was emailed about missing things, and a few days ago I managed to summon up the courage to send a brief reply, with an apology for the absences and “I’ve been depressed”, which feels like a lie every time I write or even think it (other people get depressed. Me, I’m just stupid, and weak, and pathetic). Anyway, I’ve been dreading the reply and as such generally avoiding opening my email account.

The reply was nice. Of course it was. “I’m sorry to hear that”, and a list of people I can speak to, ask for help.

I’m always scared, when I manage to make these brief gestures towards telling the truth, that the reply will be something more like, “you’re not depressed, you pathetic, lying bastard. You’re a fraud. There’s nothing wrong with you. Stop your fucking moaning and get on with your life”. Maybe I want that to be the reply. Maybe if someone in my life told me to shut the fuck up and sort my life out, then I’d be able to do it. Maybe all I need is a kick up the arse.

I’m too tired to really feel anything at the moment. I’m going to try to stay awake for a few more hours, so I can sleep at night. Maybe it will suddenly click and everything will make sense. Maybe pigs will fly. Read the rest of this entry »


My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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